Council budget - 2022

The council’s budget is important because it sets out how much money we have available and where we intend to spend it as we protect, care and invest to create a better borough.

As a council firmly on the side of our residents, we have to plan carefully to ensure there is enough money to pay for vital local services and invest in the things that matter to you.

This is a tough task after such significant cuts to our funding from Government in recent years. In 2013 the main revenue support grant given to the council was £52 million which was 40% of our net revenue budget, now in 2022, the grant has reduced to just £10 million which covers just 8%.

The remainder of the money we have to spend on services comes from council tax, business rates and through the income we generate ourselves.

As Government funding fell we have also seen an increase in the need for vital but costly adult social care and children’s safeguarding services.

Despite this, the council’s record of strong financial control means that we are in a sound financial position as we tackle the impact of the Government’s austerity programme and the pandemic head on.

Key points in budget proposals for 2022/23 to 2025/26

Every year, we formally review and set our budget plans. Our most recent budget proposal covers the period 2022/23 to 2025/26.

Here’s a summary of the key points in our proposed budget.

0% general council tax rise for next two years

  • The Government have assumed that all councils responsible for delivering social care services will implement a 2% general council tax increase plus a 1% rise to contribute to the costs of adult social care next year.
  • But we know that your cost of living is increasing through national taxes and rising food and energy costs.
  • So we are committing to freeze general council tax for the next two years and only apply the 1% Government adult social care precept levy next year.
  • After this increase, we still expect to have the lowest council tax in the Midlands and one of the lowest unitary authorities in England.

Adult and children’s social care

  • We will always meet the assessed needs of vulnerable people and prioritise these essential services.
  • To do this, we will need to invest an extra £6.7 million into adult social care by 2023/24.
  • The 1% adult social care precept, costing an average Telford and Wrekin house 21p per week will contribute £0.767m towards this next year.
  • In total the net budget for adult social care (£53.3m) and children’s safeguarding (£37m) will exceed £90 million next year. This is 65% or around two-thirds of our total net budget. For every £100 of net revenue budget the council spends, £65 will be on social care.

Wider investments

  • The council has an ambitious four-year investment programme to protect, care and invest to create a better borough.
  • Between 2020 and 2024 we will be investing more than £50 million to keep neighbourhoods safe, clean and well connected. 
  • In addition to this, we have committed to an extra £16 million in projects including:
    • £4 million towards our high streets so they’re once again great places to meet, shop and do business
    • £4 million in our fight against climate change
    • £2.5 million on borough-wide community safety projects
    • £2 million to enhance and protect our precious green and open spaces
    • £1.5 million into our community action teams to keep local spaces cleaner and greener
    • £1 million into our wonderful parks
    • £1 million into top quality events and activities.
  • Other investments included in the budget proposals include:
    • An extra £37 million for the Telford Growth Fund to protect existing jobs and attract new ones into the borough, taking the total fund to £97 million.
      So far, the fund has helped to deliver around 1000 new jobs and protected 250 more through investments such as new industrial units at T54 and the delivery of a new employment park called Ni.Park. With businesses growing, the council is also generating over £500,000 in extra business rates which are invested back into the borough’s frontline services.
    • An extra £20 million for NuPlace, to deliver 402 new affordable homes in the borough, improve local rented housing standards and generate extra income for the council, bringing the total investment to £130.9 million.
      Nuplace already provides homes for over 1,000 people across the borough, has generated £6.1 million in income to help pay for frontline services and redeveloped 28.6 acres of brownfield land.
    • The creation of a £20 million investment fund that will enable one-off investments in projects that matter to our residents.
    • Over £35 million on roads, pavement, cycle paths and other transport and highways projects to keep the borough moving. This brings the total investment in the past 10 years to over £145 million and has seen the public ranking Telford and Wrekin as the best in the midlands for highway and transport services in the National Highways and Transport Network Survey 2021.
    • £10 million for other affordable housing initiatives.

Further savings

  • In total, we are planning to spend over £500 million to create a better borough next year. We will invest in many areas but to balance our budget, we will need to spend less in others.
  • By the end of 2021/22, we will already have delivered ongoing budget savings of £133.7m since 2009/10 and will need to deliver an extra £8.5 million in savings by the end of 2023/24.
  • This will be a challenge and will involve extensive consultation with service users and partners to identify ways to limit the impact of proposals or to identify alternative options.

The full budget proposals can be read in the cabinet papers for the meeting on Thursday 6 January. View the draft Service and Financial Report 2022 including all appendices.

What happens next?

  • 6 January 2022: Cabinet meeting to consider budget proposals.
  • 7 January – 6 February 2022: Four-week consultation on proposed budget.
  • Business and Finance Scrutiny Committee scrutinise budget proposals.
  • 17 February: Cabinet meeting to agree final recommendations to Full Council.
  • 3 March 2022: Final decisions on budget and council tax for 2022/23 made at meeting of Full Council.

Last updated: 06/01/2022 09:06

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